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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

2002 Gujarat Sardarpura riots: SC grants bail to 17 convicts, orders them to do community service

The convicts, who were handed down life sentences in the Sardarpura riots case, had appealed against the Gujarat High Court order convicting them.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 28, 2020 4:34:10 pm
Convicts being taken to jail after being sentenced for life imprisonment for Sardarpura massacre. (Express file photo by Javed Raja)

Seventeen people convicted and sentenced to life for the 2002 post-Godhra massacre in which 33 people were burnt alive in Gujarat’s Sardarpura were granted bail by the Supreme Court today. A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant ordered the convicts to relocate to Madhya Pradesh and do community service, news agency PTI reported.

The convicts, who were handed down life sentences in the Sardarpura riots case, had appealed against the Gujarat High Court order convicting them.

Dividing them into two batches, the Supreme Court today said one group will be relocated to Indore, while the other will be shifted to Jabalpur. They will have to undertake community services for six hours a week besides reporting to the local police station on a weekly basis as bail conditions.

The Supreme Court has directed the District Legal Services Authorities at Indore and Jabalpur to ensure that the convicts observe bail conditions diligently. It has also directed DLSA to help the convicts in finding suitable employment for earning their livelihood.

Earlier, the Gujarat High Court had acquitted 14 and convicted 17 in the Sardarpura post-Godhra riots case.

The Sardarpura massacre was the first of the nine post-Godhra riots cases to be probed by the SIT.

A day after the Sabarmati Express burning incident, which claimed 59 lives, mostly karsevaks, a mob gathered near Sheikh Vaas, a Muslim-populated area in Sardarpura, and burnt the house of one Ibrahim Sheikh, where the victims had taken shelter.

(With inputs from PTI)

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